October 13, 2007 (Sudan Tribune)
Sudan ex-rebels threatened to take unspecified measures if the ruling party refused to accept new nominees for the cabinet. The governor of Blue Nile State Malik Agar who is also a member of Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) told the daily Akbar Al-Youm that they submitted a new list of nominations for representatives in the federal government to endorse.
“This is our final list we will not accept any discussions about it because we do not discuss with the partners in the National Congress Party (NCP) their representatives” Agar added.
Last Thursday the SPLM decided to suspend their participation in the national unity government because of what they describe as the NCP’s failure to fully implement crucial elements of the Comprehensive peace agreement (CPA).
The latest move by the SPLM raised concern that the CPA that ended two decades of civil war between the Arab and Muslim-dominated north and the mainly Christian and animist black southerners may unravel.
A senior SPLM official who spoke to Sudan Tribune earlier this week on condition of anonymity said that the Sudanese president has refused to remove foreign minister Lam Akol as part of the proposed cabinet reshuffle.
Agar denied that there are any foreign links behind the SPLM decision to suspend participation in the government of national unity as some NCP officials have suggested.
Sudan’s presidential adviser Nafi Ali Nafi has reacted to SPLM decision by saying that “power groups” within the ex-rebel group have been working to sabotage the CPA as part of an agenda driven by “foreign powers”.
The Blue Nile governor hinted that the SPLM is prepared to reverse its decision on government participation if the NCP accepts the cabinet nominations.
“It suspension of SPLM participation will not last long. After the Eid holiday the first vice-president and SPLM leader will hand over a new list of SPLM nominations for representatives in the federal government, including advisers and federal and state ministers” he added.
Agar statements may indicate that the SPLM is softening its stance on its demands to resume its work in the federal government.
SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum said in a press conference earlier this week that their ministers would stay out of the central government until the NCP rectify its continuous violations of the CPA.
Amum said the SPLM wants resolution to a wide range of issues including the demarcation of borders, demilitarizing the south and revenue-sharing.
The NCP lashed back at the SPLM issuing a detailed outline of what it called violations of the CPA by the southern rebel movement.
However Agar warned the NCP that the decision by the SPLM is a “first step and will be followed by others” before voicing optimism on a possible breakthrough.
The 2005 peace agreement brokered by the US and other western countries ended two decades of civil war between the Arab and Muslim-dominated north and the mainly Christian and animist black southerners.